|May 02, 2009|
Water and Wastewater Industry in Turkey
Turkey’s rapid urbanization, its plans to join the EU and its large tourism industry have led to increased demand for clean water and environmentally safe wastewater disposal. There is a strong market for water and wastewater technology products in the rapidly developing Turkish marketplace.
Currently, only 55 percent of the Turkish population is connected to the sewerage system in municipalities and of these, only 11 percent have wastewater treatment services. These are usually in larger cities and towns. Other municipalities either do not have any treatment services, or only primary (physical) treatment. Seventy-five percent of the nation’s industrial wastewater is discharged without any treatment (mainly into oceans and rivers). Of the remainder. twenty percent is fully treated and the remaining 5 percent receives preliminary treatment only.
Approximately half of the 190,000 industrial enterprises in Turkey are active in highly polluted industries, and of those only 1.4 percent are established in organized industrial zones with reliable and environmentally sound infrastructure.
Much remains to be done to improve the sustainable management of water resources in Turkey. Specifically actions needs to be taken to increase the share of the population connected to sewage treatment services, which currently stands at only 12 percent.
The price structure of water services also needs to be developed to cover the much needed investment and maintenance costs as well as to achieve the more rational use of water. Priority has been given by the government to expand investment in the water infrastructure in order to develop public-private cooperation for financing.
Strategies for the management of water resources in water basins are also being developed, and relevant legislation is being enforced more stingently. Monitoring and measurement of water quality remains a problem and technologies are required to this end.
Number of municipalities served by wastewater treatment plants
Number of wastewater treatment plants
A recent survey of 3225 municipalities by the Turkish Institute of Statistics in 2006 noted that 2321 (72%) had established sewage systems. In that same year 49 percent of the 3.37 billion m3 of wastewater drained through these systems was discharged into rivers, 45.2 percent to sea, 3.6 percent to dams, 1.4 percent to lakes and ponds, 3.6 percent to fields and 4.3 percent to other environments. Of this total discharged amount, 2.14 billion m3 (63%) was treated in the treatment plants.
Methods used for wastewater treatment are:
In 2008, 46 billion m3 of water was consumed by various industry sectors in Turkey; 34 billion m3 in the irrigation sector, 7 billion m3 in the water supply sector, 5 billion m3 in the industrial sector. This sum corresponds to development of only 41% of the available exploitable potential of 112 billion m3.
Wastewater treatment systems are for the most part custom built and have different treatment capacities and technolgy specifications for each industry type. Industry contacts indicate that turnkey biological wastewater treatment systems of 100 m3/day capacity with membrane filtration units cost on average US$ 50,000 to the end customer. This amount may rise up to US$ 60,000 with construction and installment expenses.
This is comparatively higher than physical-chemical waste water treatment facilities that operate on screening, coagulation, flocculation and dissolved air flotation methods. Industry contacts add that a simple physical-chemical waste water treatment plant of the same capacity costs as low as US$ 15,000.
Turkey has received over US$ 1.4 billion financial support from international institutions such as European Investment Bank (EIB), International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IAD) to fund its water supply and sewage projects.
Urban water supply and sanitation are increasingly becoming a local responsibility and the central government is actively pushing such responsibilities to local municipal entities. Major cities have sufficient autonomy to engage in their own project planning and financing. Smaller cities are following this trend. However, many of these small municipalities have no experience in financing such projects and have very limited resources of their own. Moreover, the Under-secretariat of Treasury no longer backs foreign borrowing by sub-sovereign units.
In spite of that, municipalities of major cities do not face difficulties in realizing their investment plans. Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Izmit, Bursa, Adana and Diyarbakir metropolitan municipalities have been contracting out new water and waste water treatment projects to consortia formed by local and foreign firms. New tenders by these municipalities are constantly underway.
Investments in industrial water treatment plant and equipment are increasing both in number and volume. Generally, large companies in export oriented sectors such as automotive, chemicals, machinery and food processing have already attained acceptable environmental standards. But overall there is much to be done for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially, textile firms, and state owned enterprises.
According to current data, about 3,000 industrial establishments across Turkey have treatment facilities of their own. 55 of the Organized Industrial Zones (OIZs) in operation, have submitted completed plans to Ministry. These OIZs have committed to put their wastewater treatment facilities in to operation by 13 May 2009.
The Ministry of Health holds periodic inspections of water installation circuits, water depots, bathrooms and air condition systems in touristic hotels against Legionella and similar germs.
Main Technologies Used
The Water treatment sector in Turkey is populated by small and medium enterprises. The number of key players is currently about 100 firms. Among these are engineering firms that deliver turnkey systems and waste water treatment package modules; distributor and agent companies that sell imported equipment and chemicals; and local companies manufacturing parts and materials for engineering companies and end customers, especially sand filters, check valves, pipes, belt filters, filter presses, aerators, mixing units, dosage machines, grids, pumps, tanks, and also treatment chemicals. All major technologies currently used for waste water treatment are available in this market.
Industry contacts estimate the total market size of the sector around 500 million Euro. Local firms manufacture either their own treatment equipment or work with foreign counterparts under licensed production and distributor agreements. The industry contacts also state that the sector has been growing lately, but they underline the fact that there are acute problems, such as lack of standards for water treatment equipment, the lack of quality inspectors for treatment facilities, authority confusion between central and local administrations, deformity in government and municipal tenders, falling profit margins, etc. The industry contacts add that, as an implicit outcome of this situation, most water treatment companies do not specialize in certain areas.
European companies (mostly German, French and Italian) dominate imports of goods and services in this sector. Advanced technologies deployed in water treatment, namely desalination, ozone disinfection, use of membrane technology, tunneling, biochemical treatment and sludge processing seem to offer the best export opportunities for water treatment companies from North America.
Imported products are primarily sold through agents or distributors. A reputable agent/distributor with good market contacts may provide important and timely information which may not be readily available through other sources. In view of the complicated import procedures, it is also difficult to sell without a competent agent effectively. Industry contacts all agree that the best way to enter the market would be forming a partnership with a domestic company and approaching the financially sound companies or municipalities, since thousands of them still lack water treatment facility or equipment.
Some municipalities do not have proper water and wastewater treatment systems. Some of the smaller towns, due to their limited financial capability, may not be able to undertake large projects with international players, but there are still cities with 250,000 + populations without a treatment facility.
As far as the treatment of industrial wastewater is concerned, a small portion of industry fully complies with the rules and regulations on treatment of the wastewater generated at their own facilities. Some product groups which have potential in the Turkish market are:
Excerpts from the Environmental Industry in Turkey, GLOBE Foundation